As countries around the world continue to grapple with the ongoing pandemic, blood banks are in urgent need of blood donors. In conjunction with World Blood Donor Day this June 14, Facebook is partnering with the Ministry of Health’s National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in Sri Lanka to urge people to become blood donors – and encourage friends and family to do the same.
Facebook’s Blood Donations feature was launched in Sri Lanka earlier this year in collaboration with NBTS to connect people to their local blood banks, so they know when there is a shortage and where it is safe to donate. Since January, 24 blood cluster centers have been onboarded and over 360,000 Sri Lankans have signed up to receive notifications about donating blood. Globally, over 100 million people have signed up to be blood donors on Facebook since 2017.
“Every day, we see how people across Sri Lanka come together on our platforms to support each other and help their communities – whether it’s through Facebook groups, small businesses on WhatsApp, or social causes on Instagram. As part of World Blood Donor Day, we encourage everyone to not only sign up to be a blood donor, but share their experience in order to inspire others to do the same,” said Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama, Policy Programs Manager for Sri Lanka at Facebook.
“This year has been especially challenging for blood banks across Sri Lanka as a result of COVID-19. Facebook has helped us digitize the blood donations system and attract new donors. We hope to see more people come forward this World Blood Donor Day and pledge to help their communities during these difficult times,” said Dr. Lakshman Edirisinghe, Director of NBTS.
People in Sri Lanka can play a role in raising awareness about the importance of donating and help build a reliable and sustainable supply of blood in the country. To better support community-based blood collection, Facebook also introduced a way for blood banks to share their mobile drives via Facebook Events, increasing their visibility to nearby, potential donors.
To receive notifications from blood banks near you about donating, go to the Blood Donations feature in the About section of your Facebook profile. For more information, visit http://facebook.com/donateblood